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The Right to the City: Fulfilling the vision of cities and human settlements realized by and for all its inhabitants

First conceived by the French philosopher Henri Lefevbre as a “demand for a renewed access to urban life”, the right to the city has progressively emerged as a call for action fostering local communities to transform urban reality under principles of socio-spatial justice and democracy. For local governments, the right to the city arises as an opportunity to promote a renewed social contract at the local level, based on human rights, equitable and sustainable development and participatory democracy.

Adopted as a pillar of UCLG action agenda in 2016, the right to the city has been, for many years, a relevant approach on the basis of which Committee members analyzed challenges related to urban development. It poses a relevant framework to understand urban reality and propose ways to transform it. It also nourishes those debates that seek to build the human rights-based approach (HRBA) at the local level, and presents local governments with an opportunity to cooperate with civil society in order to co-create fairer and more democratic cities.

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UCLG Policy Council on the Right to the City

UCLG enshrined in 2016 the right to the city as a pillar of its agenda as a way to advance local democracy and human rights universality. In order to continue fostering debates on this topic, it created a Policy Council on the Right to the City aimed at developing the organization’s policy agenda on this matter. Our Committee works with UCLG to ensure members participation in the Council and to consolidate its messages.

Seminars of local governments for the Right to the City

Our Committee supports local governments that wish to organize “International Seminars for the Right to the City”. These seminars allow to go further in the implementation of human rights in the city and launch political alliances for more inclusive, fair, democratic and sustainable cities. Organizing an international seminar for the right to the city also provides with an opportunity to strengthen dialogue with civil society.

The Right to the City and Global Agendas on Sustainable Urban Development (NUA and SDGs) 

Habitat III provided an opportunity for local governments to advance networking on the right to the city. To do so, the Committee took advantage of two global platforms: The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments and the Global Platform for the Right to the City. Since 2016, the Committee also promotes the HRBA in the 2030 Agenda.

Global Platform for the Right to the City

The Global Platform for the Right to the City is a global umbrella organization aimed at promoting the right to the city in local and global agendas. The Platform promotes joint action and facilitates cooperation between global stakeholders and members. The Committee is a member of the Platform's facilitation, advocacy and communication groups.